I realize there is a decision for me to make within the creative process and my artistry as a songwriter.

To create from my own voice or to communicate for others?

As a graphic designer it is my commitment to excel at the later, to solve design and communication problems for clients, and support them in the expression of their brand. In this sense there is a responsibility to create from another perspective, where success is measured by insights, trends and brand engagement relevant to a strategic goal.

As both artist and songwriter, I see a new opportunity to celebrate my own voice, and what I personally have to contribute to the world. A voice I could not access as an artist through other mediums. Through music there are stories to explore that could contribute so much more than the packaged, processed products for mass consumption that keep us from feeling anything real, or connecting us to each other. This is where my passion lies, in breaking past the surface and making that emotional connection, one song at a time.

For me this is a choice to be expansive, and not limited in my creative pursuits. In this choice I empower a voice that has in the past placed the judgements of others before her own. Through music I will emancipate my spirit and create a clearing to start anew.

I choose to expand from within! Where do you stand? I’d love to hear what you are passionate about and how you are bringing your gifts into this world. Please leave a comment on the blog or tweet me @misstaniajoy 🙂

Much love,


14 weeks ago I challenged myself to write one song a week for one year! Now 2013 is here and i’m midway through writing my 14th song! So I figure its time to share with you a rundown of my progress, and things i’ve learned along the way.


Write something everyday. This was great advice given to me by Christopher Ward during a skype mentoring session sponsored by the Songwriters Association of Canada. Check out more of Christopher Ward’s tips “On Songwriting” for other great insights.


To make this possible, i have a notebook by my side at all times, and lovely iphone apps to record on the fly, whether it be in the car, in the mall, or under the covers… whatever it takes! Personally I’m at my best in the morning… but its not just about when your inspired, it takes something more to do the work when you are not (and its the last thing you want to do!).


Honestly you have to push past the fear and be willing to write something that stinks, and in return for this sacrifice of your ego, you will breakthrough to something new.


Co-writing is an absolute pleasure, with many delightful returns in terms of learning, inspiration and friendships! It’s hard to tie this process down to the same timeline of one week like the others, but it is worth investing in the pursuit of co-writing to discover more about your songwriting potential, outside of your own style, and  process.


So here is an updated list of the songs i have written by committing to the act of writing everyday. Some days are long, but there is always a fresh start around the corner.

Week 1: You Hold The Mirror

Week 2: Daddy’s Little Girl

Week 3: Concrete Heart

Week 4: Play It By Ear

Week 5: The Good Word

Week 6: Soon As I Figure Out How (co-write with Dayna Shereck) Check out the behind the scenes on how our writing session unfolded here. We also cut a demo with vocalist Carol Kay for pitching purposes. Dayna & I felt it had a Country feel to it, so bringing Carol into the mix was a great choice to serve the style of the song. For all of you songwriters out there looking for clean demos, give Carol Kay a call and tell her i sent ya! 😉 https://soundcloud.com/cjkmusic

Week 7: Pretty Good Hurts Pretty Bad (co-write with Brian Edwards)

Week 8: Settle For Love (co-write with Candice Sand)

Week 9: You Won’t Survive is another song i had cut into an acoustic demo with vocalist Carol Kay. Believe it or not this song was inspired by a line spoken by the young female lead during an episode “The Vampire Diaries” (my guilty pleasure) which i turned around into an angst-ridden tune of my own. Have a listen!

Week 10: Fine On The Outside

Week 11: Can’t Stop Loving You

Week 12: All That Remains

Week 13: Up, Up & Away

That’s it folks! I’ve got much more up my sleeve in the coming weeks, including an online songwriting course with my mentor Pat Pattinson … so stay tuned!

The 10 Most Valuable gifts you can give this Holiday Season

1. Forgive Yourself

2. Forgive someone you have wronged, or you perceive have wronged you.

3. Instead of buying a gift for your best friend. Write a letter, telling him/her what the friendship means to you.

4. The neighbor or colleague you don’t really like, and have been avoiding, take this opportunity to find something to compliment them on. Make it genuine. Everyone has something worth noting.

5. Clean out your closet/jewellery box and recycle those items you have not used for a long time. Someone, somewhere may need your cast-offs

6. Does your gift-giving list include someone who has everything? Why burden them with more “stuff!” Make a contribution to a charity in their name and encourage them to begin a revolution of the heart, by giving their time.

7. Suspend your judgments of a homeless person. You don’t know their situation. Look them in the eye and send them thoughts of love.

8. Write a Love Letter to yourself

9. If you’re in a romantic relationship – write a love letter to your partner.

10. Repeat steps 1 and 2.

Pauline Haynes is a Life Coach who understands life’s ebb and flow. @Coachpauline